Blacksmith: Forging a future

Posted On October 3, 2015
Blacksmith Peter Williamson
October 03, 2015

After watching local Blacksmith, Peter Williamson, demonstrating his craft at Village Day, Joella Campbell met him at his workshop.

Using his forge as a, ‘psychological retreat,’ Peter talks about the importance of using reclaimed materials and investing in your passions. A graduate of Hereford College of Arts, Peter, 23, is passionate about artisan, organic crafts and is keen to reinvent a craft that he feels has lost its way in the 21st century.

“Crafts are definitely something that should be embraced more in our culture.” says Peter, “I would like to believe the age of the artist blacksmith has only just begun.”

With just over half a year of commission work under his belt, Peter is sure to be on a busy schedule with the festive period soon approaching. “Customers seem to be loving the cheese mouse knife.” Demonstrating his skills at Chorleywood Village Day, Peter took visitors through the motions and, “melted, flapped, splat and spread” a soon-to-be cheese mouse. “It’s a really fun kitchen appliance and I think it adds a novelty to the craft.”

‘Do it well or don’t do it at all’ is the attitude Peter adopts when dealing with clients. The skill involved is paramount when making high quality kitchen knives, fire baskets and other homeware items and there’s no room for half-hearted blacksmithing in this industry. “It can be a slow process, but I don’t want to be budgeting jobs to a rushed job” he stresses. Blacksmithing is without a doubt a craft of luxury. “You don’t get it for pots, pans and cutlery any more.” Despite the luxurious label, Peter only uses recycled and reclaimed materials, “It’s about learning not to be wasteful.”

Check out Chiltern Open Air Museum Blacksmith Experience Days. Workshops are held in their Victorian forge and cover basic techniques including anvil use. No experience necessary. Limited places available on 19, 20, 23 Nov. £120 pp, £180 for 2 people More planned for 2016 . Gift vouchers available. More details at www.coam.org.uk

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